Title: Their Christmas Carol (Big Sky Hathaways #2)
Author: Jessica Gilmore
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 162 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
Linnea Olsen never thought she’d be back in Marietta for good. But when her parents ask for help with the family orchard and cider making business, she packs up her bags and heads to her hometown with her daughters in tow. Determined to settle in to the community, she plans a Christmas charity concert. She soon realizes she’s in over her head, so when she hears that her singer-songwriter ex is back in town, she enlists his help.
Uninspired by life on the road, singer-songwriter Nat Hathaway has quietly returned to Marietta to pen his new album. But his high school girlfriend, Linnea, has other ideas–she’s already volunteered him to co-organize a charity Christmas concert with her. As they spend more time together, Nat is drawn to the warmth and comfort that he sees in Linnea and her girls.
Linnea knows that this is only a holiday-romance because Nat will be back on the road soon and she needs stability for her girls. Still, as the holiday season begins to wind down, she hopes that a Christmas miracle will inspire Nat to put roots down in Marietta for good.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
I’m not as enamored to this second entry to “Big Sky Hathaways” series as I was with Baking for Keeps. It’s sweet enough, I think. And there’s history between the characters, making Their Christmas Carol has that second-chance one-who-got-away vibes, which I usually find interesting. Yet somehow I feel disengaged with Nat and Linnea, and their feelings to each other don’t seem to be out there.
What first crossed my mind was, this book has too many characters flipping through pages that diverted the attentions from our MCs, Nat and Linnea. Which is funny really, I’ve no trouble devouring books with multiple POVs before. Then there’s also kids, food, and pet thrown in the story (again, usually among my favorites items in books). The (personal) baggage Nat and Linnea have is not something to thumb your nose to. Plus, as in previous book, the nosiness level of family and friends is not annoying for a small town setting. It’s hard to pinpoint, but I’m not really convinced with the romance between Nat and Linnea.
Between them, I think Linnea gets the bigger POV portion and to work on her personal issue, dealing with her kids and parents. With less part, Nat also has to deal with his own issues with help from his parents and sibling. That doesn’t leave much for our MCs private time, really. And even those don’t go deep enough though (at least in my humble opinion). Both Nat and Linnea are too – Idk if it’s the right word – haughty(?) to own up to their feeling.
The saving grace of their story comes close to the closing chapter, which is way too late to excite this reader, really. For a holiday story with exciting kids and activities, Their Christmas Carol got a pretty gloomy atmosphere. But if nothing, at least it has hopeful HEA ending.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.